Forester J. DuSell

Obituary for Forester J. DuSell

May 20, 1921 - December 22, 2018
Geneva, Illinois | Age 97


Forester J. DuSell "Fory", 97, of Geneva passed away December 22, 2018. He was born May 20, 1921 in Aurora, son of the late Claude and Mary DuSell.

Fory was a longtime railroader having started with the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy as an Operator in 1939. He grew up in CB&Q division point Aurora, IL, and quickly rose through the ranks to Dispatcher, Trainmaster, Assistant to General Manager, and Director-Suburban Services in Chicago. During that time, the Burlington Chicago commuter service was expanding, and eventually, partnering with the West Suburban Mass Transit District, re-equipped to become entirely push-pull using gallery cars with head end power. Mr. DuSell was in charge of the group responsible for these improvements, and for the schedule and ridership expansion, and under his leadership, the service was recognized with the awards from UMTA (now FTA) and the Chicago Sun-Times, as the best commuter service in Chicago. He served on the Governor's Task Force which established the Regional Transportation Authority.

After his retirement from what had become Burlington Northern, Forester was tapped to become San Diego Trolley's first Manager of Operations, tasked with establishing its initial operating organization and train service, on the first modern light rail service in the U.S. He spent several years in San Diego before again retiring and returning to the Chicago area, where he and wife, Jean, built a home they had long planned in Geneva, IL.

In his post-railroad life, Fory stayed active as a consultant, serving

as Senior Advisor to PTSI Transportation. He was a member of Metra's Citizens Advisory Board, and traveled extensively in Europe, observing railway operations in several nations.

Forester served his country in World War II with the 770th Railroad Operating Battalion. He rose to the rank of Master Sergeant and had been offered a commission which he declined in order to return to the railroad industry.

Fory is survived by his wife, Jean, several nieces and nephews and by countless millions of passengers transported safely and comfortably under his leadership. As DJ Mitchell, Vice President- Passenger Operations of BNSF Railway remarked, "Fory lived a long life in the service of lots of people who never met him."

Services have been held and burial took place at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Aurora, IL. Arrangements were handled by The Healy Chapel, Aurora, IL.

Memorials may be made to Honor Flight Chicago at or Marmion Academy at

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Healy Chapel

332 W Downer Pl
Aurora, IL 60506
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